COLLE VAL D’ELSA HISTORY
Colle Val d’Elsa, raised to the rank of city status and becoming a city with a bishop’s seat in 1592, is situated on an outcrop of tuff and surrounded by a rich countryside that was the breadbasket of Florence and Pisa.
Homeland of Arnolfo di Cambio, Cennino Cennini, Giovanni Tolosani, Bartolomeo Scala, Antonio Salvetti, Vittorio Meoni, Romani Bilenchi (to cite some of its most famous citizens)… Thanks to its wise channeling of water derived from the river Elsa, it distinguishes itself for the processing of wool, silk, glass, steel and above-all paper.
The production of paper was precisely the most important economic activity from the 13th and to the 18th century.
In the second half of the 19th century, an early industrialization (steel and glass) made Colle Val d’Elsa an important reference point with a substantial part of the labor movement in Tuscany, and it was the first socialist municipality in south-central Italy.
The significant social economic dimension that arrived to the city can be witnessed by its numerous buildings, among those that stand out is that of Francesco Campana (constructed on design by Baccio d’Agnolo and remained incomplete) and, to arrive to our days, that of Monte dei Paschi of Siena (constructed according to the project by Michelucci)… to its churches rich it prestigious works of art, to its convents: buildings that contribute to the urban atmosphere that exists still today.
In one of its old neighborhoods, that takes its name from St. Catherine of Alexandria (patron saint of papermakers) exists buildings (restored) dating back to the 14th to the 18th centuries: among these buildings, one finds at Via Gracco del Secco no. 51 the building described in the page Facilities.